WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2002 -- Aerus LLC, formerly known as Electrolux LLC, has agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that the company failed to report serious defects with certain vacuum cleaners to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as required by law.
Under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers must immediately report information about potentially hazardous products to the Commission.
CPSC alleged that Aerus failed to report, as required by law, that certain models of its Ponytail vacuums presented a shock and/or burn hazard to consumers.
The power cords on these vacuums extend out of the top of the handle, and the cord is often used as an extension of the handle. The power cord can break inside the handle or the casing around the cord can break, and cause shocks or burns to the user's hand. Even when there is no apparent breaking of the casing around the cord, these vacuums can still cause injuries.
Electrolux Corp., a predecessor of Aerus LLC, received about 75 reports of the cords on these vacuums breaking or the wires within the cords breaking through the casing. About half of these incidents resulted in burns or shocks to consumers. Of these reports, there were 11 serious injuries, including second degree burns, third degree burns and shock.
In agreeing to settle this matter, Aerus denies the CPSC's allegations and denies that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act or any other laws administered by CPSC.
In November 1998, Electrolux LLC recalled about 226,000 of the Ponytail vacuum cleaners, which were sold between May 1991 and September.
The recalled vacuums sold for between $150 and $550 under the following model names: Genesis, Prolux S/R, Genesis LX, Prolux Warehouse, Genesis LXE, Regency, Prolux, Special Edition and Prolux Plus. Consumers who have not participated in the Electrolux recall should contact Aerus LLC at (800) 243-9078 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Consumers also can log on to the company's website at www.callprocess.com/locator/elux/elux_zip_search.htm to use the Electrolux Dealer Locator.